The Federal Character Commission (FCC) has been directed to prosecute ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government violating the principle mandate of the commission.
The directive was issues by the Secretary to the Government of Federation, Boss Mustapha, during a sensitisation workshop for stakeholders in the north-central and northeastern geo-political zones, themed: “Integrating Strategic Partnership with Critical Stakeholders and Advocacy on Balance Development,” in Abuja.
Mustapha, represented by the commission’s commissioner in Niger State, Maj. Gen. Suleiman Barau (Rtd), said the programme was aimed at addressing the lack of understanding and perception of the Federal Character principle amongst the people and stakeholders.
He said the commission would prosecute MDAs that failed to follow the guiding principles and procedures for recruitment into the Federal Civil Service.
“Over time and since we assumed office, one critical factor that has been a recurring decimal is the lack of understanding and perception of the Federal Character principle among the people and, specifically, among our stakeholders.
“This deficit of comprehensiveness has, in many ways, affected total implementation of the principle of equity, justice and fairness in the distribution and proportional sharing of, not only bureaucratic posts, but the more germane and widely acclaimed distribution of infrastructural facilities, resources and social amenities among federating units.
“The mandate of our job is to ensure that we put our mandate right for MDAs to be aware of the character principle, and that is what we are doing here to educate them on the mandate. We have two mandates, the first mandate is monitoring of recruitment and promotion, and the second mandate is social amenities and infrastructure.
“We have told the MDAs what they are supposed to do as an agency. Any MDA that fails on that mandate is an offense and there can be sanctions for violating [it].”
In his remarks, the secretary, Federal Character Commission, Muhammad Bello Tukur, noted that the commission has ever been involved in the National Judicial Council’s recruitment or promotion process as part of the mandate of character commission.
He lamented that MDAs like the Federal Judicial Service Commission, the Federal Civil Service Commission, Code of Conduct Bureau and others that share the same line with the Federal Character Commission under Section 153, sub-section 1, don’t comply with the mandate.
“There is need for relationship, as a commission, with the National Assembly. What the National Assembly actually needs to do is to ensure compliance with oversight for commission to discharges its mandate.
“What the National Assembly is doing now, though, is to perform the functions of the Federal Character Commission because they subject heads of MDAs to media trials and put them in the spotlight.”